Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
Uterine fibroids, also called leiomyomas or myomas, are abnormal benign growths that occur in the wall, or protrude from the wall, of the uterus. They can be as small as a pea, or grow to the size of a grapefruit, even larger! They can occur as single or multiple growths; sometimes as many as a dozen or more.
Symptoms from fibroids can vary from annoying to debilitating, and include:
- Heavy, prolonged, or painful periods
- Pelvic pressure, pain, or bloating
- Lower back pain
- Frequent urination, or difficulty emptying the bladder
- Constipation or rectal discomfort
Traditional treatments for fibroids include hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) or myomectomy (surgical removal of individual fibroids, one at a time). Our interventional radiologists perform a minimally invasive procedure called fibroid embolization which cuts off the fibroids’ blood supply, forcing them to shrink and eliminating the need for surgery.
Uterine fibroids are classified according to their location within uterus. There three primary types of fibroid tumors: Subserosal, Intramural, and Submucosal. Pedunculated uterine fibroids occur when the fibroid grows on a stalk.
Uterine fibroid Emblozation (UFE) is performed by an Interventional Radiologist (IR), a doctor that performs minimally invasive image-guided diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Benefits of UFE
- A minimally invasive procedure that is performed without general anesthesia and has a much shorter recovery time than hysterectomy or myomectomy
- No surgical incision is required as only a small skin nick is needed to perform the procedure. No stitches are needed
- Approximately 90% of women who have their fibroids treated with a uterine fibroid embolization exhibit significant or complete resolution of their symptoms
- Multiple fibroids can be treated at once. During the procedure, a catheter is selectively placed into blood vessels that supply the uterus, thereby allowing treatment of all of the fibroids at once
- The uterus is spared. Since the procedure entails cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids, the vast majority of the remaining uterus remains intact while the fibroids significantly decrease in size, thereby eliminating symptoms
- Less risk than surgery. Since the procedure only requires conscious sedation, the risks associated with general anesthesia are not encountered. Also, the risk of major bleeding or pelvic infection is less than with surgery
FAQ’s About UFE
Like many women, Carmen discovered she had fibroids accidentally. While visiting her gynecologist to remove an ovarian cyst, she also found out she ha… View Full Text
Like many women, Carmen discovered she had fibroids accidentally. While visiting her gynecologist to remove an ovarian cyst, she also found out she had fibroids. Within a few years, Carmen started to develop serious symptoms like heavy, long, painful periods. Carmen admitted having to wear a super absorbency tampon, two ultra absorbency maxi-pads, a Depend® adult diaper, and Spanks® to hold it all together.
Not able to tolerate it any longer, she began to explore fibroid treatments. After searching for alternatives and getting nowhere, Carmen finally learned about uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) from an acquaintance who also suffered from fibroids. For Carmen, deciding to get UFE was the best decision for her. Recovery was uncomplicated. After resting for four days, she was back at work a week after the procedure.
“I’m hoping that I can use this platform to let other women know about UFE,” Carmen emphasized. “Women who are afraid to wear white pants and who feel a gush of blood flowing every time they get up from their seat. Who pray they have not messed up their seat at work or messed up the back of their pants or their nice skirt when they go out to dinner or they go to church. I hope that by doing this, I let other women know—just like I found out—that there is an alternative.”
I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the receptionist I made the appointment with all the way to the doctor and nurses. Thank you!”… View Full Text
– Stephanie G
I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the receptionist I made the appointment with all the way to the doctor and nurses. Thank you!”